Doing our sums of the point scored over the five Grand Prix run this season, out of a total of thirty-nine rounds, Groupama-2 is clearly in the lead, with Gitana 11 and Banque Populaire neck and neck. The only two other trimarans to have won a round (five for Frédéric Le Peutrec, three for Pascal Bidégorry). In fact, the (unofficial) rankings based on the results of the five Grand Prix alone - Calvi, Marseille, Vigo, Fécamp, Lorient – gives a perfect illustration of how Groupama-2 dominates the circuit, in a grand slam taking thirty-one rounds out of possible thirty-nine. A remarkable score demonstrating the extent to which the lastest trimaran on the circuit is particularly at home in light air, which was the norm in a year where more than twenty-five rounds were started in less than 12 knots.
Gitana 11 had a few ups and downs depending on the weather. In winds below eight knots, the trimaran had tough time staying on source and maintaining a steady speed against fellow competitors by the likes of Banque Populaire, Géant, Foncia and Groupama-2. Frédéric Le Peutrec and his crew did not do nearly so well in Vigo and Fécamp, two Grand Prix where the wind was conspicuous by its absence. On the other hand, the last Grand Prix was run in more than twenty knots, ad confirmed that boat and crew were a force to be reckoned with in windy conditions winning three out of the nine rounds run.
Overall, Franck Cammas in the Grand Prix leader, followed by Pascal Bidégorry and Frédéric Le Peutrec. But when you take into account all of the races run, thirty-nine in all, Gitana 11 moves ahead of Banque Populaire, indicating greater consistency in the rankings throughout thus far. For Gitana X, this unofficial score is not a guage of the net gain in potential acquired throughout the season, nor of the high level of cohesion between crew, skipper and tactician. In spite of Thierry Duprey du Vorsent having twice finished fourth, in Vigo and Fécamp, most of the time Gitana X found herself up front before being overtaken in by boats which are quite simply faster.
Summery of results over 39 rounds raced in the five Grand Prix of the series (rankings of the Grand Prix in Calvi, Marseille, Vigo, Fécamp, Lorient) :
Groupama-2 (1+1+1+1+1 = 5) 53 points
Gitana 11 (2+2+4+4+3 = 15) 120 points
Banque Populaire (3+4+2+3+2 = 14) 122 points
Géant (4+3+3+5+5 = 20) 145 points
Foncia (7+5+5+2+4 = 23) 177 points
Gitana X (5+7+6+6+6 = 30) 229 points
Yann Marilley :
« A mixed conclusion for the Gitana Team over the five Grand Prix. We are satisfied as our aim at the outset was to have one boat in the first three in the Multihull Championship rankings before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. But it is disappointing to have alternated between first and fourth, particularly in the last Grand Prix. We have to be relative about though. With the exception of Banque Populaire, whose performance was very consistent, with a boat which is easy to sail, all members of the fleet have gone through ups and downs. Even Groupama-2 when you look at the results in Marseille, Fécamp and Lorient. Winning three rounds in the last met at Lorient was a source of satisfaction, but we still have to work harder if we are to win a Grand Prix. Conditions were not always on our side as on many occasions, the winds were under eight knots. Neither of the team's boats performs well in such situations due to their forms. Once wind speed exceeded 15 knots, Gitana 11 was up to winning rounds (Marseille, Fécamp, Lorient). She was originally conceived and designed for ocean-racing. We know that both trimarans are excellent on the open sea, fast and healthy in windy conditions. It is realistic to suppose that a top three place is possible in the last race of the season, the Transat Jacques Vabre. Gitana 11 can hope to achieve more than third overall in the Multihull Championship.
Moreover, throughout the year, Gitana X has progressed all the time in terms of manœuvres and tactical choices. In the future, the aim is to become increasingly independent in terms of yard facilities and optimisation of the boats. We have taken on Hubert, from the Fujifilm stable. He is a great carbon specialist and will be acting as shop steward for all carbon components. We are working with another ex-Fujifilm Team member, Bernard Pointet, in developing the boats with a rather innovative vision. »
Overall rankings - Multihull Championship 2005 (after the IB Group Challenge, the Giraglia race and five Grand Prix) :
1-Pascal Bidégorry - Banque Populaire (16 points)
2-Franck Cammas - Groupama-2 (21 points)
3ex-Frédéric Le Peutrec - Gitana 11 (27,5 points)
3ex-Michel Desjoyeaux - Géant (27,5 points)
5-Armel Le Cléac'h – Foncia (36 points)
6-Thierry Duprey du Vorsent - Gitana X (47,5 points)
7-Giovanni Soldini – TIM Projetto Italia (117 points)
8 (equal) Thomas Coville – Sodebo (147 points)
8 (equal) Yvan Bourgnon – Brossard (147 points)